In this data snapshot, authors Marybeth Mattingly and Jessica Carson explore the role of government programs in alleviating poverty for people with different racial-ethnic identities. Because poverty rates among non-Hispanic whites are significantly lower than among other groups, programs with disparate effects by race can either widen or decrease racial-ethnic gaps in the poverty rate. The authors find that SNAP and the EITC play particularly important roles for non-white populations; however, Social Security maintains low poverty rates among whites, and exacerbates the poverty gap between white and non-white populations. Policymakers who want to advance low income populations and promote racial-ethnic equity can consider both these programs’ roles in reducing poverty and racial-ethnic poverty gaps.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2019


Data Snapshot


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2019. Carsey School of Public Policy. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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